Fall Out Boy tops CD reviews

Fall Out Boy (WENN.COM file photo)

Fall Out Boy (WENN.COM file photo)

Darryl Sterdan, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:41 PM ET

HEAR IT

Fall Out Boy
Save Rock and Roll


More like Save Us From Our DOA Solo Careers. But forget the title. What counts is that the Chicago pop-punks make the most of this overdue reunion. Their first album in four years takes up where Folie a Deux left off, with soulful vocals and cheeky lyrics set to complex melodies and arena-rock grandeur. Proof that comebacks — no matter the motive — don’t have to suck.

RATING: 4 (out of 5)

Iron and Wine
Ghost on Ghost


Sam Beam goes where the spirit moves him. With his sophomore major-label disc, it continues to pull the whispery singer-songwriter away from his stark indie-folk roots and into a richly appointed lounge of retro-pop reminiscent of The Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson and 10CC — with more horns and jazzy textures tossed in for good measure. Nothing to fear here.

RATING: 4 (out of 5)

SKIP IT

Device
Device


A supergroup needs super friends, apparently. So the dynamic duo of Disturbed frontman David Draiman and former Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo enlist Serj Tankian, Geezer Butler, Tom Morello and others to help on their chugging slabs of sinister industrial-grade metal. It all adds up to less than the sum of its parts, but better than leaving them to their own devices, one supposes.

RATING: 2.5 (out of 5)

Carla Bruni
Little French Songs


Even former first ladies need jobs. So, after five years, Mme. Bruni-Sarkozy returns to music with all the poise you’d expect, coolly crooning en francais about her husband, her country and um, Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg over a breezy mix of Gallic-flavoured folk, pop and country. Comme ci, comme ça.

RATING: 3 (out of 5)

ALBUMS

The Shouting Matches
Grownass Man


Pssst. Wanna hear new music from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon? Here it is — and as the band name implies, this trio is more aggressive, downplaying the falsetto mewling while upping the guitar-driven roots-rock and soul a la Alabama Shakes. Something to shout about.

RATING: 4 (out of 5)

Michael Bublé
To Be Loved


Call him irrepressible. The ebullient Bublé lets it all hang out on his sixth major-label disc, continuing to expand his crooner cred with everything from old-school soul and Latin jazz to bouncy pop-rock originals — plus an undeniable Elvis influence. Happy Mother’s Day.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Phoenix
Bankrupt!


Money changes everything. To follow up 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the Gallic rockers savour success by expanding their delicately intricate guitar-pop with shinier synths and sleeker sonics — while referencing their own fame in their lyrics. The sound of summer.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Rob Zombie
Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor


Horror villains never die — they just lumber to the next sequel. Fittingly, Zombie’s turbocharged fifth disc resurrects his musical tropes, from two-finger grindhouse riffs and pumping dance-metal to his shoutouts to Lucifer and Nosferatu. You can run, but you can’t hide.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Frank Turner
Tape Deck Heart


He’s ready for his closeup. Brit troubadour Turner goes big with his fifth album, teaming with a major label, recording in Cali and goosing his folk-punk with slicker production. But despite sunnier surroundings, his dark wit and impeccable craftsmanship remain. Push play.

RATING: 4 (out of 5)

Kid Cudi
Indicud


What goes down must come up. Three years after his dour Man on the Moon II, Cudi bounces back on his third disc, proclaiming his immortality, independence and invincibility — though oddly, it’s all offset by moody sci-fi synthscapes and woozy downbeats. Intriguing.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Black Crowes
Wiser for the Time


Wiser and older. The Southern stoners’ latest live outing dates back to a 2010 acoustic tour. So naturally, it’s a mellow affair that favours laid-back jams, deep cuts and covers over hits and barnburners. Not for newbies, but a definite treat for fans. Light the incense. 

RATING: 3 (out of 5)

M83
Oblivion: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Who better to score a Tom Cruise sci-fi flick than French shoegazers? But give them credit: Anthony Gonzalez and co. take a classicist approach, bypassing video-game synths for a dystopian world of sweeping orchestrations, ominous atmospherics and tense propulsion.

RATING: 3 (out of 5)

Ghost B.C.
Infestissumam


Light the black candles: Papa Emeritus II and his Nameless Ghouls are back. And still evil. The Swedish occultists maintain their majestically malevolent ways with a second offering of sinister Satanic verses and church-organ doom-rock. Music to sacrifice virgins by.

RATING: 3 (out of 5)

Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine
White People & the Damage Done

Still angry after all these years. And still topical. Decades after Dead Kennedys, perennial punk gadfly Biafra continues to rage against the Washington, Hollywood and Wall Street machines with his rabble-rousing sardonicism and mosh-pit aggression. Save room for Jello.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

The Stone Foxes
Small Fires


Inspiration is nice. But perspiration helps. And with the gritty neo-vintage blues-rock of their fourth disc — all stinging guitars, swirling keys and the trippy slow-burn of Black Keys — these San Franciscans offer enough of the latter to compensate for lacking the former.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Senses Fail
Renacer


Reborn. Revived. Reanimated. They’re all loose translations of Senses Fail’s fifth album title. They’re also succinct descriptions of the way the New Jersey punks rejuvenate and intensify their melodic metalcore with more propulsive heft and glowering space. Rewarding.

RATING: 3 (out of 5)

JJ Grey & Mofro
This River


Make that This Bayou. As usual, Florida singer-guitarist Grey resides in the swampy sweet spot between southern-fried rock, juke joint blues and horn-flecked soul-funk and R&B. Best of all: He’s got catchy melodies and hooks to back up those grooves. Go with the flow.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

COLUMN

Some things are worth celebrating. Willie Nelson’s 80th birthday is one of them.
A true original and innovator, the red-headed country icon becomes an octogenarian on April 30 — and is, as always, on the road again. Even more impressive: The prolific pothead has recorded way more than 80 albums over the years (and they say dope makes you lazy). Wondering where to start? I’m glad you asked:

Shotgun Willie | 1973
His first album after leaving Nashville and embracing the hippie scene in Austin.

Phases & Stages | 1974
A concept album about both sides of a disintegrating marriage. Willie at his most serious.

Red Headed Stranger | 1975
Another concept disc — the tale of a murderous preacher, told with bare-bones backing. An unexpected blockbuster.

Stardust | 1978
Willie tackles the Great American Songbook decades before Rod. Producer Booker T. adds keyboards.

Pretty Paper | 1979
Willie does Christmas standards — and his own title cut, previously a hit for Roy Orbison.

Honeysuckle Rose | 1980
It’s got On the Road Again. Enough said.

The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? | 1992 Just Nelson and his acoustic guitar, trying to work his way out of a $16-million hole.

Across the Borderline | 1993
Willie covers everyone from Dylan and Paul Simon to Lyle Lovett and Peter Gabriel.

Teatro | 1998
Nelson teams with producer Daniel Lanois for a stylish, subtle masterstroke.

Two Men With the Blues | 2008
Wynton Marsalis joins Willie for a lively stroll down the line between country and jazz.

SINGLES

Jay-Z
Open Letter


No, Jigga isn’t apologizing for outsourcing to India. He’s firing back at critics who blasted him for taking the missus to Havana for their anniversary. And doing it with his usual skill, smarts and swagger. The revolution may not be televised, but it has a great backbeat.

RATING: 3 (out of 5)

Psy
Gentleman


He’s a mother-father gentleman. Whatever that is. K-pop superstar Psy tries to stave off the inevitable and extend his 15 minutes with this Gangnam Style followup. But beyond its goofy pigeon-English refrain, this midtempo electro thumper has little to recommend it.

RATING: 2 (out of 5)

Queens of the Stone Age
...Like Clockwork


It’s old home week in QOTSA land. This short, sharp shot of syncopated guitar-rock previews their much-anticipated sixth album, which supposedly marks the return of bassist Nick Oliveri to the fold — along with contributions from some dudes named Reznor and Grohl.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

DVDs

The Damned
Tiki Nightmare: Live in London 2002

Weird weird weird. Dismayingly true to its title, this 90-minute club show finds the cheeky punks sporting tropical shirts and leis for no good reason — though the performance is strong enough to make you look past the threads. A 40-minute doc rounds out the program.

RATING: 3 (out of 5)

IN THE PIPELINE

APRIL 30

The Airborne Toxic Effect
Such Hot Blood

Kenny Chesney
Life on a Rock

!!!
Thr!!!er

Deep Purple
Now What?!

Guided By Voices
English Little League

HIM
Tears On Tape

Iggy and the Stooges
Ready to Die

LL Cool J
Authentic

The Postelles   
… And It Shook Me

Spin Doctors
If the River Was Whiskey

MAY 7

Fitz & The Tantrums
More Than Just a Dream

Lady Antebellum
Golden

Natalie Maines
Mother

98 Degrees
2.0

Pistol Annies
Annie Up

Rod Stewart
Time


Photos